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2/12/2013 11:28:00 AM
DJ should be in tune with bride and groom's music taste
Photo contributed by DJ Tom Farley
DJ Tom Farley gives tips for picking DJs and playlists.
Photo contributed by DJ Tom Farley
DJ Tom Farley gives tips for picking DJs and playlists.
Picking a DJ:
Before hiring a DJ, arrange to meet in person to make sure you are comfortable with him/her and vice versa.  At that initial meeting determine the following:

•How long has the person been in the DJ business and how many weddings per year do they do (a good DJ will do a minimum of eight-12 per year, Farley advises).

• Does the DJ provide a written contract?

• Does the DJ provide emcee services and a planning form that covers the flow of events?

• Does the DJ have a professional digital sound system?

• Has the DJ worked at your chosen wedding venue before?

• Will the DJ play the songs you want and, more importantly, not play the songs you don’t want?

• Does the DJ take breaks during the event and, if so, what happens during those breaks?

• What will the DJ wear to the event?

Picking a playlist:

• DJs play an average of 15 songs per hour, so Farley advises couples to pick 20-25 “must have” songs, a mixture of up-tempo and slow songs.
“It’s a matter of the couple’s personal tastes in music.  With the availability of music today, there is no reason a good DJ cannot provide the songs a couple wants played,” Farley said.

•  After the “special” dances for the bride and groom, ask the DJ to start off with a few familiar romantic slows songs to get parents and grandparents on the dance floor. Farley suggests: “Can’t Help Falling In love” by Elvis Presley or “Can I Have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life” by Anne Murray.  
“Then once folks are on the floor, it is easy to transition to familiar up-tempo songs,” he said. “The key is to play songs that most of the people who are there are familiar with early on.”

•  Bride and groom should provide a “Do Not Play” list; Farley advises avoiding songs with inappropriate lyrics. One of the most requested songs is “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang; coincidentally it is also one of the songs that most frequently lands on couples’ “Do Not Play” lists.

• Good DJs should have a variety of styles of music, from popular standards (Big Bands, Sinatra) and ‘50s-‘70s Oldies to ‘80s & ‘90s tunes, contemporary pop, and classic and contemporary country, Farley said.

“And, of course when uncle Hugo from Wisconsin requests ‘The Beer Barrel Polka’ I ask him if he wants it by Lawrence Welk or the Andrew Sisters.  So a wide variety of music is a requisite.”

When the bride and groom make their grand reception entrance and the DJ mistakenly blasts Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” instead of The Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love” — well, that’s just awkward.

DJs are important at weddings. He or she helps ensure different parts of the reception, like dinner and toasting the bride and groom, flow smoothly with appropriate music to set the tone.

“The timing of these components is crucial,” said Tom Farley, a DJ for more than 25 years. “For example, you don’t want to wait to throw the bouquet and discover most of the single girls have already left.”

Farley is well known in the Catholic community for playing tunes at everything from weddings to CYO dances. Here, Farley provides tips on picking a DJ and choosing great songs for a reception playlist.

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